This Salted Caramel Chocolate Crepe Cake is a spectacular dessert! No baking required. Layers of delicious chocolate crepes & salted caramel diplomat cream filling. Perfect showstopper dessert, and you can make the easy version or the intermediate version, as indicated below. INTERMEDIATE - This recipe is suitable for someone who has made cakes before DUE to the several components involved. EASY VERSION - Serve the cake after the first glazing of the cake. Skip the extra chocolate layer to create a "dam" on the surface of the cake. And skip the salted caramel sauce on top. Instead, you can serve the salted caramel sauce on the side if you like. US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement ConversionsThis cake may require one or two overnight chill times. The recipe is long, since there are several components, but every step is described and clarified in detail.
540mlmilk2 ¼ cups (I prefer whole milk or 2 % milk)
71gbutter5 tbsp (melted)
75gwhite sugar or brown sugar¼ cup + 2 tbsp
150gflour2 ⅛ cups (measured by spoon and level method)
60gcocoa powder ¼ cup + 1 ½ tbsp (I use dutch cocoa powder)
Salted caramel diplomat cream (make the custard the day before you assemble the cake)
200gwhite sugar1 cup
240mLheavy cream1 cup (35% fat)
360mLmilk1 ½ cups
2tbspwater at room temperature
240mLheavy cream chilled1 cup (35% fat)
57gconfectioner’s sugar½ cup
Chocolate ganache (you may not use all of the chocolate ganache)
400gheavy cream1 ⅔ cup (35% fat)
43gunsalted butter3 tbsp (softened)
Salted caramel sauce (you may not use all of the salted caramel sauce)
300gwhite sugar 1 ½ cups
80mLwater ⅓ cup
240mLheavy cream 1 cup (35% fat, at room temperature or warm)
½tspsea saltmore if needed
172gunsalted butter 1 ½ sticks
Make the chocolate crepe batter according to the instructions here. The crepes should be cooked in a 10 inch non-stick pan.
Stack the cooked crepes on a plate or wire rack until needed.
Salted caramel diplomat cream (make this on the day before you assemble the cake, see recipe notes for suggested timeline)
Salted caramel pastry cream (custard)
MAKING THE CARAMEL - Sprinkle the sugar over the surface of a stainless steel pan or non-stick pan. The sugar should be in a thin layer in the pan, so that it melts faster and is easier to caramelize.
Make sure the pan and all the utensils that you're using have no fat or water.
Heat over medium heat, and stir the sugar as it melts, with a heat-proof spatula. The sugar will stick to the spatula, so use a non-stick silicone spatula if possible.
Continue heating the sugar, while stirring frequently, until the sugar turns amber in color. Do NOT touch the caramel or get it on your skin as it is very hot! When the sugar starts to turn yellow, it will change color very quickly, so take care not to let the caramel burn.
When it turns amber colored, add the warm cream into the pan. The caramel will sputter, so PLEASE STAND BACK as you add the cream to avoid any splash back. Stir the caramel soon after adding the cream to dissolve the sugar. This will take a few minutes. The caramel will form clumps when you add the cream. This is OK, just stir to dissolve.
When the caramel has mostly dissolved in the cream, add the milk, salt, and vanilla into the pan. Heat and keep stirring the milk frequently to completely dissolve the caramel. When it’s nearly boiling or just starting to simmer, remove from the heat. The caramel flavored milk base is now ready.
Next, place the eggs and cornstarch in a small jug or bowl, and whisk until you have a smooth mixture.
Temper the egg mixture by adding a little of the hot caramel milk in a slow and steady stream to the egg mixture, while whisking the eggs constantly. Add enough caramel milk to warm the mixture, and then pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the caramel milk.
Return the pot with the egg-caramel milk custard mixture back to the stove over medium heat. Heat the custard while whisking/stirring frequently, until it starts to thicken. Stir and whisk well to make sure the eggs don’t curdle and stick to the bottom of the pan as the custard heats and thickens. I like to switch between a whisk and a spatula to make sure the custard stays smooth while thickening.
In between stirring/whisking, check to see if the custard is starting to come to a boil.
Cook the custard until it comes to a boil; i.e. bubbles start breaking through the surface of the custard. When the custard starts to boil, remove it from the heat. If there are clumps, pass the custard through a fine sieve to remove them.
Add the butter to the custard and whisk it in until the butter is incorporated. Pour the custard into a bowl, and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface of the custard (to prevent a skin from forming on top).
Allow the custard to cool down to room temperature, then store it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight until chilled, and it's ready to be mixed with the cream.
The custard can also be chilled quickly by spreading it out in a thin layer on a baking pan, and then cover with plastic wrap as mentioned above (touching the whole surface). It can then be refrigerated OR placed in the freezer for about 30 minutes (but make sure not to freeze it).
Salted caramel diplomat cream (make this the following day)
Place the water in a small microwave-proof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water. Allow the gelatin to bloom for about 10 minutes.
After the gelatin has bloomed, microwave the gelatin for about 10 - 20 seconds to dissolve it. Add about 1 tbsp of the chilled cream while stirring the gelatin, to temper the heat of the gelatin mix.
Place the chilled cream in a clean bowl and add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract. Start whisking the cream with a hand mixer at medium-high speed.
Quickly pour in the dissolved gelatin while whisking the cream to make sure the gelatin gets mixed in well. To avoid clumping, do not pour the gelatin mix ON the whisk attachments, and also avoid adding it too far from the whisk. The gelatin mixes in well and quickly when it's introduced to the spot where the cream is moving the fastest.
Continue whisking until the cream forms soft peaks. Set aside for a few minutes until you get the cooled pastry cream ready.
Whisk the set salted caramel custard with a hand whisk until smooth. Add about ⅓ of the stabilized whipped cream and gently whisk it into the pastry cream. Add the rest of the cream (or as much as you like), into the custard and fold it in. The more cream you add, the texture will be lighter, and the salted caramel flavor will be more mellow. I prefer to add about ¾ of the whipped cream.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the crepe cake.
Chocolate ganache (make this once the crepe cake is chilled)
Place the chocolate in a bowl. If the chocolate is large, chop into smaller pieces.
Add the vanilla and salt into the chocolate.
In a small saucepan, place the cream and heat until the cream starts to simmer. It should not come to a boil.
Pour the hot cream into the bowl with the chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
Whisk the cream and chocolate mixture until you have a smooth chocolate ganache.
Add the softened butter and whisk it in until melted and mixed in well.
Set the ganache aside and let it cool down slightly. Whisk occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top.
Salted caramel sauce
Make the salted caramel sauce according to the recipe here. If the salted caramel sauce is too thick, add a little water to get it to the consistency you like.
Assembling the chocolate crepe cake with salted caramel filling
OPTIONAL - Using an 8 inch plate or an 8 inch tart ring, cut each of the crepes into neat 8 inch circles. This will remove the thin lacy edges, and make sure each crepe is the same size, and your final cake is more neat.
Place a parchment paper or cardboard cake round (that is the size of the crepes), on a cake stand or plate. Make sure the cake stand or plate can fit inside your fridge as well, since you will be refrigerating the cake on this plate later on.
The first crepe will go directly on top of this parchment paper or cake round.
Next, take about ¼ - ⅓ cup of the salted caramel pastry cream and spread it over the crepe in a very thin layer. The thickness should be similar to the thickness of the crepe.
Carefully place another crepe over of the filling, making sure to center it properly.
Repeat with the filling, and then another crepe, until all the filling is used up. End with one last layer of crepe on top. I used 16 crepes here, but you can use anywhere between 14 - 18 crepes, depending on how much filling you use between the layers.
Make sure the crepe cake stack is not leaning to one side, and stack the crepes neatly as you go.
When the chocolate crepes and filling have been layered, carefully place the crepe cake in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, until completely set.
After the cake is set
Now the cake should be set and firm, and can easily be lifted off the plate onto a wire rack. Place the wire rack over a clean baking tray/pan to catch any excess chocolate ganache.
OPTIONAL - Apply a thin “crumb coat” of chocolate ganache over the crepe cake, especially on the sides so that the glaze will come out smoother. Let it set for a few minutes.
Pour the cooled (but slightly warm), but still very liquid chocolate ganache over the surface of the crepe cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate over the surface to cover the cake completely and smoothly on the top and the sides. Transfer the crepe cake into the fridge to set.
When the ganache has set, the chocolate crepe cake is ready to be served with just that simple glaze. HOWEVER, if you'd like to have the salted caramel sauce on top, you will need to add another layer of ganache on top to create a "well" on the surface of the cake.
Take the leftover chocolate ganache and let it cool until spreadable. Spread enough ganache on the sides of the crepe cake, and smooth it out using a spatula. Create a "well" with a raised edge on the surface of the crepe cake with the ganache.
Since the crepe cake is cold, the chocolate ganache should set very quickly.
Pour the salted caramel sauce on the top. The “well” you created on top will keep the salted caramel sauce in place.
Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Cut slices using a warm, dry, and clean knife.
Make the salted caramel custard and let it chill overnight. This can be made on day two instead as well, and allowed to cool quickly in the freezer by spreading it out in a thin layer on a baking pan. See recipe instructions on how to do this.
Day two (busiest day)
Make the crepes.Make the salted caramel diplomat cream (while the cooked crepes cool down).Assemble the crepe cake layers and let the cake chill overnight. Make the salted caramel sauce (if using).
Make the chocolate ganache. When the ganache has cooled down (but still slightly warm), coat the crepe cake. Pour the salted caramel sauce on top. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.